Tag Archives: Call of Duty: Black Ops

Hypocrisy? What hypocrisy?

We’ve barely had time to try and process Friday’s tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut and UK tabloids are up to their usual tricks.

Oh look - one of those hyper-detailed murder simulators that the kids all love...

Oh look – one of those hyper-detailed murder simulators that the kids all love…

Rupert Murdoch’s wholly above reproach UK tabloid newspaper The Sun today has a headline story skirting around the idea that Adam Lanza’s rampage is somehow connected to his ‘obsession’ with Activision’sCall of DutyFPS franchise.

You know the kind of thing before you read it – no real evidence to speak of, a few splashy pull-quotes and amateur psychology aplenty conspire to deliver the kind of schlock, predictable, cynically hand-wringing story we usually see after a tragedy like Newtown, all the while trying to inspire an emotional, “Won’t Somebody Think About The Children?” type reaction in the kinds of parents who are (whisper it quietly) probably buying “Black Ops 2” as  a Christmas present for their kids (if they’re not already playing it themselves).

Did Lanza play “Call of Duty”?  Who knows – who cares?  He was a young American adult.  The bigger story would be that he didn’t play “CoD“, “Battlefield” or “Medal of Honor”.

If he did play video games, why does it automatically follow that he was being somehow desensitized or made more susceptible to violent power fantasies?  I’ve played “Call of Duty” instalments in the past and all that I can point to is an increasing lack of desire to engage with that franchise.  Am I somehow miraculously unaffected by the otherwise corrupting, pernicious influence of these games?  Is it down to my living in a different country without easy access to guns?  Am I too old and set in my ways to buy into such shock and awe pyrotechnics?

Just as a matter of curiosity – is the “Call of Duty” game series being raked over the coals by The Sun today any relation to the “Call of Duty” game lauded in breathless prose in a story tied to the launch of “Black Ops 2”?  Or in this feature about how ‘SAS hero (TM)’ Andy McNab believes that the game teaches morality to kids?  Or is that a different series of blockbuster action FPS titles from Activision, Infinity Ward and Treyarch?

When it’s going to sell copies or connect The Sun in a positive way with a blockbuster, generation-defining pop culture entertainment brand loved by their demographic, the paper will happily get into bed with Activision in a mutually beneficial relationship.  When there’s a sliver-thin line of particularly smelly, easy answer bullshit to peddle, that partnership gets swiftly forgotten about in the rush to sell papers or get page impressions.

Hypocrisy?  Surely not.  Not on Rupert’s watch.

No violence here, eh, Rupes?

No violence here, eh, Rupes?

It’s a good job that Twentieth Century Fox doesn’t make violent, gun-heavy entertainment isn’t it?

 

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New from GamesCom – “Remember Me”

If you’re at all interested in the world of video games, this week sees an interesting stop on the international show calendar, Cologne‘s annual GamesCom shindig.

Gamescom – Germany’s finest gaming show.

Sitting between the all-out industry showcase E3 and the nerdier, Penny Arcade-affiliated PaxPrime, GamesCom differs in being held in Europe and offering a big shop window before the Autumn games releases start to drop (increasingly, it seems, the long-established Tokyo Game Show is being shut out of much of the action and becoming less relevant, which is a real shame).

Already today we’ve seen E-Sports integration into the critically important multiplayer section of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2”, which is one of those proverbial games changers and a flurry of rumours preceding the predictable no-show of venerable Valve vapourware, “Half Life 3“.  My interest, however, was drawn to Eurogamer.net’s story on new Capcom sci-fi action game, “Remember Me” (Facebook link).

Capcom game “Remember Me”, clearly as in love with “Blade Runner” as anybody else with a soupcon of sanity.

Ass-kicking, post-Whedon/Cameron female protagonist?  Check.  Futuristic setting in a recognizable European capital city (Paris)? Check.  Gameplay which suggests a blend of “Uncharted” platforming, combat playing homage to Rocksteady’s “Batman” games and some hide-in-the-shadows stealth sections which all third-person action games must include?  Chiggedy-Check-Check.

A third-person action platform adventure with a charismatic protagonist in a glossy setting – I’m in.

The game’s scheduled to release next May – hopefully there’s enough sci-fi action included to get me through next Summer’s inevitable games drought (which might be worse than usual if the hints about next-gen consoles arriving next Autumn turn out to be correct).

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UK government to end dual rating system for games.

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In what seems to be an outbreak of common sense, the British government has elected to do away with the two tier rating system for video games and just go with the Europe-wide PEGI system (cue some otherwise ignored Tory back-bencher trying to get some media traction by claiming this leaves us at the whims of the EU and all manner of depravity being forced upon our kids).

Previously some titles fell under the auspices of the British Board of Film Classification which led to multiple ratings on games boxes – and that won’t do, as having to read two boxes which tell you that the game you’re buying is for adults is only going to cut into time that many parents reserve for allowing their offspring to do whatever they want without fear of admonishment or, you know, actual parenting.

So, when clueless Mum and Dad go to Tesco and buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 2″ for little Darren this November, they’ll have one less graphic on the box to remind them that they’re ineffectual halfwits and can spend that extra half-second of reading time on ignoring health warnings on their ready meals and supermarket special boxes of Lager.

Still, it might shut up professional irritant, charisma vacuum and British MP Keith Vaz for ten seconds, so we can at least be grateful for that…

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“Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” announced

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Well, that’s Autumn sorted for a lot of gamers – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 announced • News • Eurogamer.net.

I’m not one of those players – action RPG nerds who play as Rogue Female Elves for the win! – but I fully expect this latest episode of the annual FPS franchise to dominate sales chart and mind share in the games community for the latter part of this year.  It’s the go-to shooter for many a gamer and remains seemingly unstoppable at the retail counter, predictable annual controversies notwithstanding…

Expect a proper reveal (and trailer) tonight and more hype when E3 rolls around in the summer.

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